Thursday, October 18, 2012

Croupier (1998)

Synopsis: Clive Owen wears a tux, hangs out in a casino, turns into a bed-hopping, vodka-swilling, cold-hearted son of a bitch. (How did he not nab the role of James Bond?)

Blurb From the VHS Jacket: “Jack Manfred (Clive Owen: Close My Eyes, Bent) is an aspiring writer who is going nowhere fast. To make ends meet, and against his better judgement, he returns to his former job as a croupier.”

What Did I Learn?: If you’re waiting on a dark street to confront the croupier who earlier accused you of cheating, hit him first and then start yelling.

Really?: 1) The casino has a policy against dating fellow staff members, and yet it provides co-ed change rooms?! 2) So wait, Jack’s girlfriend wants him to remain a broke writer instead of working as a croupier, and she doesn’t end the relationship when she catches him cheating on her? 3) If the conspirators don’t need Jack to play an active role in the plot, why do they pay him in the first place? 4) So, the pit boss can’t count, and he’s part of a money-laundering scheme... funny how those story threads remain loose ends.

Rating: Croupier is a low-budget British drama with genuine twists, turns and suspense, as well as a solid performance from the under-rated Clive Owen. 8/10 stars.



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